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Sky Bet League 1

Bramall Lane (ATT 19,941) 29th December 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: D Deadman

Sheff Utd Sheffield United vs Hartlepool United Hartlepool

Sheff Utd 2

M Doyle (30)
H Maguire (90+5)

ft

Hartlepool 3

S Howard (7, 72)
R Humphreys (54)

Struggling Pools topple Blades

Last Updated: 29/12/12 6:52pm

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Steve Howard: Netted a brace for Pools

Steve Howard: Netted a brace for Pools

Two goals from veteran striker Steve Howard helped Hartlepool to a surprise 3-2 success at Bramall Lane on Saturday.

Hartlepool ended their miserable 22-game winless run and the Blades' unbeaten home league record.

Lifelong Sheffield Wednesday fan Ritchie Humphreys also found the net for the visitors, with Michael Doyle and Harry Maguire scoring for the hosts, who began the day top of League One but slip to second place after this shock defeat.

Bottom-of-the-table Pools took a surprise seventh-minute lead when Howard headed home Evan Horwood's pin-point cross.

Buoyed by that early goal, the visitors put the Blades' defence under pressure for a spell with Howard missing the target after being put through on goal. Jonathan Franks also put an effort off target.

The hosts then enjoyed a good spell of possession with Nick Blackman having a shot on the run saved by Scott Flinders.

But a 30th-minute error from Flinders brought the Blades level, Doyle's 25-yard shot slipping through the goalkeeper's hands and into the back of the net.

Humphreys put Hartlepool back in front with a near-post shot after 54 minutes, George Long got a hand to the ball but could not keep it out.

Howard handed them a two-gaol cushion with a looping header from James Poole's cross in the 72nd minute.

The visitors hung on until stoppage tim when Maguire's 12-yard finish made it 3-2 but it was too little, too late for Danny Wilson's side.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet League 1

Sky Bet League 1
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bristol City 19 39
2 Swindon Town 18 35
3 Preston North End 18 34
4 Milton Keynes Dons 16 31
5 Sheffield United 18 31
6 Notts County 18 30
7 Rochdale 18 27
8 Oldham Athletic 18 27
9 Peterborough United 19 27
10 Fleetwood Town 18 25
11 Chesterfield 18 24
12 Bradford City 18 23
13 Barnsley 17 22
14 Walsall 18 22
15 Port Vale 18 22
16 Doncaster Rovers 16 21
17 Crawley Town 18 21
18 Coventry City 18 20
19 Leyton Orient 18 19
20 Gillingham 18 18
21 Colchester United 18 17
22 Yeovil Town 18 17
23 Scunthorpe United 17 16
24 Crewe Alexandra 18 15